Driving & Road Safety Abroad
Visiting a country for the first time is a lot of fun. You will get to experience many things that you’ve never seen or heard of before. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead, especially if you want to operate a motor vehicle in the country you are visiting. You will be in unfamiliar territory and every country has different driving regulations.
Some rules can come to you as a surprise, because it’s something you’re not accustomed to seeing. The country may also have different requirements and require specific documentation in order for you to drive. Discover everything you need to know and have before getting behind the wheel in a new country.
Driving Requirements in Other Countries
Over 100 countries require for you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) to operate a motor vehicle. An IDP is a translation of your country’s driver’s license. It allows other countries to understand the information that is on your license. It’s important to realize that an IDP does not replace your license. The driving permit is invalid without your license.
This means that in order for you to get an IDP, you must have a valid driver’s license. If your license is expired, you need to apply for a new license before registering for an IDP. This is the only way you’ll be able to obtain an IDP.
It’s also important to understand that not all countries accept an IDP. For example, in Ecuador you are able to drive with your license for 30 days after your arrival to the country. All you need is a valid driver’s license. However, after 30 days, you must attend a transportation course to obtain an Ecuadorian driver’s license. The Ecuadorian license is the only form of identification you will be able to use to legally drive.
You also have countries like China that will not allow you to use an IDP or your valid license to operate a vehicle. Instead, you will need to pass a written and driving test in order to drive in the country. Every country has a different set of requirements, which is why it’s important to do research on the country you plan to visit.
In addition to the IDP and license, many countries also require auto insurance. If you’re renting a vehicle in the country you are visiting, oftentimes you can get insurance through it. However, if the car rental company doesn’t offer protection, you may be able to get coverage through the car insurance company you already have. It will often times provide you with coverage in other countries or the company will provide you with information on where and how to get the proper coverage you need.
Driving Rules in Other Countries
As a kid, you were taught that rules are in place to keep you and everyone safe, right? Well, that’s the same reason why countries have driving regulations. For your safety and to avoid getting in trouble with the law, it’s essential to understand the driving rules of the country you’re planning to visit.
Every country has driving regulations you must follow, but they are all different. For example, in the U.S. you drive on the right side of the road and in Australia you drive on the left. This means that a lot of the traffic rules one country has will be different than the other. There may also be traffic signs that you have never seen or won’t understand because they are in different languages. This is why it’s important to do research on the traffic rules and regulations before getting behind the wheel.
Driving Safely in Other Countries
It’s difficult to drive in an unfamiliar country, but one thing you can assure is your safety. You can do this no matter where you drive, but especially in an unfamiliar place. The majority of vehicles have seatbelts, so it’s important to buckle up. The seat belt will protect you if you were to get into an accident. You should also obey speed limits and always watch out for pedestrians. It’s not a good idea to speed in a country you’re unfamiliar with, especially where road patterns may be completely differently. And of course, avoid texting and driving. You don’t need any distractions while on the road, especially if you’re in a city with heavy pedestrian traffic.